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The look of love?

13 February 2024

With Valentine's Day upon us, it's quite difficult to shoehorn the love of pensions into any romanticisms that you may enjoy or endure. Anyway…here goes!

Some will remember the early 80's hit, 'The Look of Love' by the pop band ABC. A good tune in a decade of transition for many in the world of pensions. Contracting out of SERPs was introduced in the late 80's (1988) and was popular for many years, with this option ending in April 2016. But when is the last time you showed love to your pensions, or indeed know where they all are?

Life's been busy!

Many clients and enquirers have noted that with natural job changes, promotions, and life changes, keeping track of older style pensions has not been possible. With many of these individuals now reaching a point where they can access funds, keeping a handle on your pension arrangements has never been more important.

Consolidation?

It is also important to note that there are many media adverts from providers and advisers to merge your pots together. Whilst accumulating benefits, we are not normally advocates of this proposition. Please do contact us to ask why if this is what you are considering.

Finding an old pension and reviewing the arrangement

If the details of a historic plan have been lost, you can use the free Government Pension Tracing Service and more on this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details

Once you have an update, it's likely to be worth a review, but what to look for? Some examples include:

  • Plan charges: Are they reasonable in comparison to modern offerings?
  • Death nomination: Is it to the ones you love? (you knew we would get the link in!)
  • Investment choices: Do they reflect your attitude to investment risk now?
  • Penalties: Are there penalties applicable if you want to access your funds?

These are just an outline of some of the questions you might consider when looking at your overall benefits, and perhaps what they offer when you start your approach to retirement.

Summary

As we have noted in previous blogs, pensions usually only need two things – money and time – and the State Pension alone will not normally provide sufficient income for a comfortable retirement. Checking your overall pension position (State pension / old employers' plans / current employer's arrangement) to ensure you are on track for your future needs is usually important in knowing what you have, and perhaps what you need to achieve going forward.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
Director
CFP Chartered FCSI
Chartered Financial Planner

Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899


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